Hastings Battleaxe’s blood pressure rises…

Yes, my actual blood pressure is rising. I had to go down to the doctor earlier in this week. ‘Are you stressed about anything?’ he enquired, after prescribing stronger medication. ‘Well, yes,’ I replied, ‘Christmas, the Women’s Institute, poetry, and the political situation.’

The above issues were made much worse by injuring my left wrist, which I also had to ask the doctor about.  Heaven knows what I did – got up in the night to go to the loo, half asleep, felt something go pop in my wrist, and in the morning it was all swollen up and terribly painful. I could scarcely lift my hand let alone put a decoration up, wrap a parcel, cook, drive… or help at the WI meeting… I was also worried that I couldn’t type properly, which for Battleaxe is a really big deal.

OK, my bad wrist didn’t affect the political situation, but if Boris Johnson or Jacob Rees Mogg ever came to our front door, I wouldn’t have been able to tip a bucket of poo over their heads. That sounds crazy, but many, many years ago, when I lived in Gloucestershire with the first Mr Battleaxe, the National Front was canvassing in the neighbourhood. I literally did prepare a bucket full of cat and dog poo mixed with ash, and put it ready by the front door. Unfortunately, the NF didn’t come down our road….
Here are Rees-M, Johnson and Peter Bone contemplating the collapse of their infantile plot – I wish. Right now are just carrying on as if nothing had happened.

    But back to the wrist. Mysteriously, it suddenly got better… yes, am typing now just fine….

So, what about poetry?  A few posts ago I mentioned that Battleaxe was planning to produce a book of poetry for her (ahem) 70th birthday in August 2019.
It is a lot of work. I need 40 of my poems all finished and set out properly. But as of today I have 28 done and in the book format, and another 10 in various stages of readiness. That only leaves 2 brand new poems to produce, so I don’t know why I am worrying. The profits from sales of the book will go to charity – currently three of them – Macmillan Cancer, the National Autistic Society, and on request from my daughter, Queen Alexandra College in Birmingham, the specialist college attended by my grandaughter.  The book is being illustrated with drawings by local artist Danny Mooney – he will also do the front cover. I like his work because it is a bit off-the-wall… I didn’t want twee and Winny-the-Poohish, or too cartoony. Some of the poems are quite serious…death and cancer is involved.
Of course, I am not a great poet, and never will be, but I can, I hope, produce stuff that is accessible and entertaining with some dark twists. The poems fall into four groups – memories, poems about Hastings, poems about travel, and random offerings… I’ve had so much help with my poetry from my Hastings Stanza group. Being part of that group is challenging, but so positive.

    What about the Women’s Institute? In Hastings we just had our Christmas meeting, which was a bring and share food and drink night with Secret Santa and entertainment from the East Sussex ladies’ favourite drag performer, Lady Crabtree. Sounds like a breeze, but like all such events, it took organising and hard work from all our committee members. Things go wrong on the night. Lady C’s microphone and PA system was broken, so she had to use ours, which involved much effing and blinding by me and friend Shirley to get the temperamental thing to work. I shouted ‘Lady C!!! Come and help us sort this machine!’ (after all, he is a man…) But she just rolled his eyes and said she couldn’t possibly understand such things. In the end, everything was fine. I expected/hoped Lady C to be high-camp shrieky feather boas and sequins, but in fact she is a proper lady… quite restrained…

Lady Crabtree

Then at regional level, I have my usual regional WI News to edit/produce, and the WI website. Lots of typing and…
A big event to organise…
I am busy with the Federation’s Centenary Garden Party and Fair on 6 July next year, at Fairlight Hall. Am working with a group of others, but given I am nearest to the venue and know it well, and Sarah is one of our WI members, I do feel responsible. It’ll be a fabulous do and I love organising events – it was always one of my favourite things at work. Think housing conferences, annual meetings, away-days, staff conferences etc. It was a bit different then, mind, I had Staff… Of course, things still did go wrong – never, ever ask me about Karren Brady and Birmingham City Football Club…..

To finish, here are a few photos of the Battleaxe/Philosopher Christmas lights…


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